Changes to homeless support services in Scarborough will result in job losses

Scarborough Town Hall
Scarborough Town Hall

Redundancies will have to be made as Scarborough Council moves to bring a homeless support service in-house following a cut to its funding, a new report has warned.

North Yorkshire County Council is cutting the funding provision for homeless and rough sleeping support in Scarborough and the county by more than £600,000, a reduction of 45%.

In response, Scarborough Council, and North Yorkshire’s six other district councils will sign a collaboration agreement with the county council to bring the support service for homeless people “in-house”.

A report prepared for Scarborough Council leader Cllr Steve Siddons sets out the arrangements for the borough.

It says: “Within the borough the service is currently provided by Horton Housing (a Bradford-based housing association).

“The Horton service provides support to 120 homeless households across the borough at any one time including 50 in temporary accommodation. The value of this contract for the Scarborough area is £259K per annum.”

Going forward the amount given to Scarborough by the county will be £145,000, rising by 3% each year for five years.

Staff currently employed by Horton are protected Transfer of Undertakings Regulations 2006 (TUPE). This means that they will be transferred over to Scarborough Council on existing terms and conditions from October 1.

As the Horton service employs 8.5 staff members under the current funding agreement the council cannot support the staffing levels in place when the reduction comes into place.

The Scarborough Council report, written by the authority’s housing manager Andrew Rowe, adds: “The reduced funding means a requirement to restructure and a reduction in staffing numbers under the new arrangements.”

The borough council would have to cover any redundancy costs incurred.

Cllr Siddons will be asked to approve the new arrangement on Friday as part of his leadership portfolio.

The loss of funding was first revealed in January as the county council looks to save £7.5million from its budget over the next three years.

When the new funding arrangement was revealed the then leader of the council Cllr Derek Bastiman called the reduction “frightening”, saying that if the county was only going to give half the money then it would lead to “half the service”.

Next month, Scarborough Council will bring forward its new Homeless Strategy designed to look at ways of tackling the issues surrounding homelessness and rough sleeping in the borough.